COLUMBUS, Ga. & DENVER--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Carmike Cinemas, Inc. (NASDAQ:CKEC), a leading entertainment, digital cinema and 3-D motion picture presenter, today announced it has entered into a strategic partnership with Fathom Events to bring an enhanced and significantly expanded alternative programming offering to 150 Carmike locations in 31 states by the end of 2015. The initiative will encompass more than half of all Carmike locations and marks the single largest alternative programming deployment to date among major domestic movie theater operators. Carmike's expanded alternative program offering will bring guests notable sporting events, great performances and other unique entertainment from around the world, complementing Carmike's leading Hollywood studio movie slate through-out the year.
Commenting on the announcement, Carmike CEO David Passman stated, "Carmike is pleased to partner with Fathom Events to bring new and exciting entertainment options to our guests. Our alternative programming initiatives are aimed at generating additional attendance from existing as well as new moviegoers. We are committed to providing our guests with a superior entertainment experience and we are confident that Carmike's offering of popular Hollywood film titles, along with Fathom's industry leading alternative programming, will provide our patrons broader and more attractive content options."
Carmike expects to present approximately 200 special events a year at each of the participating cinemas. Carmike will begin the first phase of the rollout on May 13 with free admissions to introductory events including high-definition presentations of the ballet Swan Lake, the highly acclaimed Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera, and the popular pop concert, Hall and Oates - Live in Dublin.
John Rubey, CEO of Fathom Events, added, "We're thrilled to partner with Carmike Cinemas to expand their alternative content offerings and bring one-of-a-kind cinema entertainment to new audiences through-out the US. We are confident moviegoers will welcome the opportunity to experience such unique performances, including live presentations from the Metropolitan Opera and other world class programming from across the performing arts, music, comedy and sports, among other exclusive Fathom offerings."
The agreement with Fathom Events represents the on-going focus by Carmike to remain the industry's leader in alternative programming. The Company recently created the Carmike Cinemas Alternative Programming and Distribution Division (APD) dedicated to curating and marketing new forms of in-theater entertainment, and has already brought several titles to audiences across the Company's circuit. In addition, Carmike's recent acquisition of Digiplex Destinations included a joint-venture partnership with DigiNext, LLC, a distributor of documentaries and independent films that takes titles from domestic theatrical release through worldwide digital downstream.
"Continuing what we started at Digiplex, Carmike is implementing an innovative business model that is helping to redefine the cinema experience and how theaters connect and engage with moviegoers," stated Bud Mayo, President of Carmike's Alternative Programming and Distribution Division. "About 60 million people see a movie every year at a Carmike theater and capturing their attention requires new offerings such as alternative content that will appeal to both avid moviegoers as well as broader segments of the overall population."
"Our unique alternative programming initiatives require months of preparation and theater personnel training. In addition, the APD team employs marketing techniques that utilize geographic targeting tools, social media strategies, and the latest technologies such as interactive in-theatre kiosks to cultivate new audiences and promote engagement with our exceptional content offerings. The Fathom partnership is a major step forward for Carmike's alternative programming initiatives and we are excited to bring our guests unparalleled entertainment experiences with new content options."
Along with the upcoming free Fathom Event offerings taking place in May, Carmike will screen the award-winning documentary, The American Nurse, by filmmaker Carolyn Jones and distributed by DigiNext. The film, which is a celebration of the nursing profession, will screen at select Carmike theaters during Nurse Appreciation Week. With strong support from local nursing groups and healthcare organizations, the movie is being presented locally in sponsorship by the Future of Nursing: Campaign for Action, a joint initiative of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and AARP, together with the American Nurses Foundation. Additionally, 30 local high school students with an interest in pursuing nursing careers will be selected to receive complimentary passes to attend each of the screenings courtesy of Fresenius Kabi - the sponsor of The American Nurse Project, book and documentary.